Red, White and Blue: Stripes of the Season and How to Wear Them

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I decided in celebration of this magnificent country, I would find some stripes that really make a splash. Spring 2010 is all about lines and there is an age old rule when wearing them. Although some have said that horizontal stripes can make you appear thinner, there are very few situations in which they really do. When choosing a striped shirt, dress or cami, consider vertical stripes for two reasons. A) it will make you look taller and B) it will make you appear thinner. There are some cases that a horizontal stripe in the right place may work but for the most part, it only add pounds to your appearance.

Here are some stripes that will make you feel like a sexy patriot.

Cyn’s Pick of the Day:  Remain Knit Dress from Nordstrom’s

This is clearly a matter of opinion and this could go really wrong really fast if in the wrong hands but with that being said, I love this piece. The cinched waist creates shape and the vertical stripes give your back side a little boom. I would even add a thin belt at the waist for fun or pair with a bright solid colored shoe. This would look amazing on a rectangle or apple body shape. Please note, this could make one look heavier than they really are due to the variance in stripe width towards the bottom of the dress.

The Horizontal Yes List

This horizontally striped sexy off the shoulder sweater dress on the left from BCBG is so perfectly designed. I love the dark band at the top to create a bold chest line and a bold line at the bottom to slim the leg. The narrow width of the stripes is a plus.

The dress on the right is called the Striped Contrast Dress from BCBG. This piece works really well in defining shape. It makes the shoulders appear slightly broader and more defined yet slims at the waist and the V neck draws the eye down. This would be a great piece for a pear shape because it will help balance the top half of the body with the bottom. Hour glass and rectangles could wear this as well. Sugar Lip Tip*** Remember Kimberlee’s Insider Tip about sparing the upper arm? Keep in mind that this piece would accentuate the upper arm.

The Horizontal NO List

These two shirts are an absolute disaster. Yes, this seriously underfed model on the left may look like she could pull this off but let’s not kid ourselves. If the model on the right can’t even make this design look good how could anyone else? There are a few design aspects to be aware of with these pieces. First, the horizontal stripe will make you look wider. Secondly, the wide flowing bottom design would make anyone look 15 lbs heavier. Third, if you pair these tanks with white pants it will also make you appear a few pounds heavier. Once it’s all said and done, you will look like a fluttering house. Trust me, this piece doesn’t do anyone any favors.

The dress on the right is deceiving. It looks really good on this model who is posing at an angle with her hand on her waist and her arm strategically placed at her side creating the illusion that the waistline is thinner than it is. The plunge neckline is a nice touch but the short length cuts mid-thigh which is the wider part of most people’s legs. I like the design but think that this would make most look worse rather than better.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at

Photos from BCBG and Nordstrom


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